I suppose with it being Women’s Month and nothing too wrong with a little self-promotion, that it is as good a time as any to do a meet the maker on yours truly!
It’s not gin per say but a gin related product and here is the official story of The Gin Queen.
Many moons ago, I studied journalism with grand ideas of going to work for a magazine and becoming some sort of section editor, receiving love and free gifts from PR companies.
Things did not go according to plan and right off the bat, I jumped into the first job I could find which had absolutely nothing to do with the journalistic field. I went to work in admin at a modelling agency.
I didn’t last long because the mundane bores me to tears and having to do the same thing everyday, over and over in an office was just draining my soul.
I job hopped a little, had a brief stint at a magazine and ironically ended up back at the modelling agency, only this time in a more senior role. It fulfilled me for a while as I was given more responsibility and learnt a great myriad of skills that I still use today, but unfortunately once more I recognised that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing and said my goodbyes once more, this time with the grand hopes of becoming a freelancer journalist.
A year ago
I jumped in head first and I recall sitting at my desk for the first few weeks trying to figure out what in the hell I was doing.
I set up my own website and blog and began writing about whatever struck me but for some reason, the clients weren’t suddenly throwing money at me.
March 2017 came around with my birthday and my boyfriend gifted me a gin tasting at Time Anchor Distillery where for the first time in my life, I was able to experience the intricacies of gin and its production. Then and there, I decided to pick a niche and become a gin blogger.
Over the next year, I contacted all the distillers I could find and put a whole bunch of money into writing about gin. I’ve been gifted much free gin, met some incredible people and learnt so much on the journey but still I realised that I needed to make money somehow.
Time Anchor opened my eyes to the world of botanicals which led me to pondering how I could experiment with them. A visit to Woodstock Gin Company in Cape Town, led to the discovery of little tulle bags that contained three or so botanicals that you could put in only their gin.
That was when it struck me – why couldn’t I be the one to make them for ALL the gins?
It has literally been a constant learning process from that moment on.
From hand sewing bags myself to ironing teabags paper. Different containers, various ideas. It was never 100% right and I must admit that while I was ironing out the creases there were a number of people who may or may not have believed that I was sitting at home doing nothing.
Some of the original hand-sewn bags
The finishing touches
As I felt myself getting closer to the final product, I decided to set up my own business which is officially The Gin Queen PTY LTD.
My business card makes me smile every time I buy gin!
By that time I had also found a formula that was 90% there. The only thing that was missing was the packaging.
I began selling my G&T Bags on Facebook in little red organza bags which were tolerable but not professional enough.
The product looked great but the organza didn't work
Where I am today
A chance meeting with the owners of the Gin Box and some firm encouragement forced me to put the last little bit of money that I had together (along with some financial aid from my boyfriend) and I sent out for packaging to be printed.
I’ve taken photos and all of the fine tuning and this week I proudly presented my Sam Sam But Different G&T Bags for the very first time.
I’ve been working non-stop since and I couldn’t be happier.
The finished product
People are loving them and I am loving that I get to work on my own product that is so heavily intertwined with my favourite drink. I often get to talk to people about gin, open their eyes to just how many crafts gins there are out there and I am waiting on a few offers that might see me hosting gin tastings and then some.
And with that, The Gin Queen is officially open for business!
For more info on where to order my G&T Bags, visit https://www.samsambutdifferent.net/shop